Why not to add photos to your blog or social media

Someone asked me why I don’t add more photos to my blog entries. Well, I have a very simple answer for that – they’re annoying and unnecessary, unless the photo adds something to the blog entry. I can’t tell you how many times I had to scroll past a picture of a quill on a writing blog.

I realize adding photos is supposed to make people like your blog more and get them to come back, but I just can’t do it. When I see a stock photo on a website, I just think about how the person who wrote that blog entry wasted my time by showing me another picture of a stack of books. Really, it doesn’t add anything.

My philosophy for blogging and social media is to write content that is relevant and worth reading. If someone takes three seconds to read what I wrote, I don’t want them to feel like I’ve wasted their time.

Having said that, I fear I’m wasting your time by writing about this topic. So, here’s what I want you to get out of it. The next time you’re having dinner, reconsider adding the 30th photo of something you ate that day with a comment like “Dinner, go me.” Ask yourself whether that’s really what you want every single one of your facebook or Twitter friends to read. If you really really really have to add that photo, how can you make it more relevant? What about adding a link to the recipe? That would be something I’d find interesting.

The kinds of photos I do like? Ones that add something to the content, like an info graphic or comic. For a mommy blog, I’m okay with seeing seven pictures of a mom’s kid in one blog entry. But please spare me the bleached stock photo of an office cubicle or a photo of people shaking hands as if they’ve just ironed out an agreement that will result in a Pax Romana that will last through the 21st century and beyond.

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